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faffi

Downsizing?

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faffi

At various stages in my life, I have felt quite mortal. Oh, I am aware that is the final price for being alive, but I have a hunger to hang around for a few more years still. 

The first time I really felt the urge to downsize was in 1990, when I had a CB1100F for a few months. I rode way too fast. It was fantastic fun, but incredibly stupid. Especially on public roads. After that bike, I knew I had to limit myself to slower bikes if I wanted to have a reasonable chance of staying alive until I grow old.

Not that small bikes have helped tremendously; a year later I nearly killed myself on a GSX400F in a huge accident, then I had a spill on a CB250N, a fall including broken bones on an XS500, a spill on a VT500FT... there is a pattern here. And it is a lack of attention and skill combined with a desire for high cornering speeds. However, my theory was - and is - that I have a greater chance of survival doing 60 or less than 100 mph or more.

I then tried a Z1300 and rode way too fast, but only in a straight line because it handled like a truck and scared me. It was followed by an XL500S. My next bike was the VN800A. At that point in life, 2002, my desire for speed was such that I didn't even want to buy a W650 out of fear for throwing myself onto a big rock. Next up was a GSX600F that proved my desire wasn't just imagined, so I replaced it with a Z400G. For whatever reason, that wasn't enough and I went and bought a Sprint 900. And promptly ended up nearly killing myself again in a massive accident.

Today, I see the same tendency with the MT07, that I want to ride really hard. Not all the time as before, but often enough that it is cause for concern. Yet it was the CB400SF I tossed down the road...

The conclusion is that I am, literally, an accident about to happen. Yes, some is likely down to bad luck, but most have been due to lack of sufficient attention. Probably combined with ambition being greater than the level of skill. 

So what to do now? I am seriously considering something in the 250-400cc range with 20-40 hp. Something that doesn't urge me to go fast, yet remain fun to trundle about on. A 250 dual purpose to commute on in town. A 400 dual purpose to ride on gravel. A 400 standard with one or two cylinders for touring/day rides. And get rid of the CB400SF, the MT07 and the Virago. We shall see. You never know, I may suddenly feel immortal again and ride like stink. After all, I am still here after more than 50 broken bones and other permanent damages, so perhaps life has a purpose and my time hasn't arrived yet 😁

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r1limited

I can understand, at 60+ I ride like I always had.. Well not really, now that I am 60 I ride with the 3 lb mass of tissue between my ears and not the two 4 oz brains between my legs.  That said the quote below is all telling IMO.  The two highlighted points below is telling me you are very cognizant of what you are doing.  I want to point out as well you have mentioned at previous times you get bored riding or you get bored riding the same roads.  Combined with those statements and what you stated below it is just my opinion, but it seems to me you know what the problem is but don't understand it "YET"  I can tell you what I think your problem is but will you listen?  Probably not, and as I said I think you know what the problem is but do not understand it.  Down sizing is not your problem, I know it is not for me, I get hurt more on smaller bikes over larger, would not matter if it was the pocket bike or the R1, the pocket bike I will get hurt on  why is that? for me it is a 100% understanding of the definition of a Healthy Respect.  Respect toward the motorcycle, respect toward my skill set and respect for any spot I am on any given road.  On the pocket bike that Healthy Respect Meter goes away, I mean as example I ride a R1(EGO), think what I can do on this little biddy packet bike(Stupidity)?  <-- That right there is shitty thinking

 

I will say it again, your problem is not down sizing, in fact IMO again I thin and I speak personally, down sizing exasperates the real problem

3 hours ago, faffi said:

The conclusion is that I am, literally, an accident about to happen. Yes, some is likely down to bad luck, but most have been due to lack of sufficient attention. Probably combined with ambition being greater than the level of skill

 

Edited by r1limited
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blackout

Disable one cylinder on your FZ-07, like they do to the 600cc i4 to race as a 450 triple.   Or look at the new Ninja 400.

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faffi

Bored is a key word, I reckon, because it leads to lack of attention. Which is probably why I have less issues when riding at a brisk pace on an unfamiliar road than trundling along on familiar roads; I enjoy myself and I am very, very alert. 

 

So perhaps what you are saying is park the bikes until you can enjoy it all and stay alert.

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r1limited
12 minutes ago, faffi said:

Bored is a key word, I reckon, because it leads to lack of attention. Which is probably why I have less issues when riding at a brisk pace on an unfamiliar road than trundling along on familiar roads; I enjoy myself and I am very, very alert. 

 

So perhaps what you are saying is park the bikes until you can enjoy it all and stay alert.

Not exactly but sometimes this is what it takes.  I walked away from racing and bikes in general in 1988 to raise my family.  I stayed close to all the racing, friends I made and the industry in a whole.16 years later I bought a 2000 YZF426 and never looked back.  I am not saying wait 16 years, but sometimes you just need some time to reflect.  Personally when I hear I am bored immediately I think your riding complacently and that is dangerous.  Only you can make that decision and make that realization on where your head is compared to your heart, you cannot separate the two.  In the quote above you sound like an alcoholic saying I know I cannot drink but if I try just one more in a different glass it will be OK "JUST MY OPINION"

Edited by r1limited
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faffi
Quote

Personally when I hear I am bored immediately I think your riding complacently and that is dangerous. 

Spot on. And this is a problem I know about, and have known about, since I was in my teens. It is not just while riding, it's about just about everything. In addition, I have trouble knowing my space, meaning I will always bang my head (or other more important body parts :D ) into stuff because I do not pay enough attention. Others do this sub-consciously. I do not. So basically I have two ways of doing things reasonably safe; in controlled hurry (not stress, not pushing to the edge of my abilities, yet taxing) or very sedately. The former retain concentration, the latter buys time to react to mistakes. Both are flawed. And so am I.

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r1limited

Keeping the rubber side down and staying alive is all that counts.  For me my bar is simple, if I am not having fun and am concentrating to much on not getting hurt or other things, its time to put it aside.

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faffi

Thank you for the inputs, food for thought. 

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robbo10

When I read such posts I am glad that I had a 50 year break from riding. Perhaps I would not otherwise be here now to enjoy it so much. I might have got bored and made stupid mistakes, or simply been taken out. As it is, I can ride with total absorption in the task and I can enjoy the freedom that riding imparts. I don't feel like tearing around like I dont want to see tomorrow. I will open her up whenever I 'see fit'. I also ride familiar roads often and only for pleasure; that would be boring for some but for me it is still fun and an escape, and that too from the bulk of lunatics driving as if no one else existed. As to the bike, it makes no sense to me to ride small cc engined bikes to curb one's urges; for me, decent performance is a must because I am able to control it with my right hand. The issue for me is weight because I cannot easily manoeuvre a heavy bike (ex my TDM 900). As a lighter MT-07 is unlikely (no KTMs , thanks) my next move would be to a smaller engine size only because the bike would be lighter. Strangely enough, or perhaps not, I consider that I ride the same way I did when I was 16 years old. All this is not to criticise anyone, it's just an alternative approach.

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Beemer

faffi - that's pretty deep so I will respond accordingly. I may be wrong but I think you're trying to live life to it's fullest but like most of us, you don't quite know how. First of all you have to realize that adrenaline rushes aren't everything. You go fast and faster as though speed and broken bone #60 is going to finally fill the void but deep down you know it's not and that's why you're here now. I recommend you take a little break away from fast bikes and give another type of riding a chance. You may like it enough you would rather ride off road more often than on the street and therefore keeping broken bone #60 at bay, at least for a little longer. 😉 I'm talking about getting an easy going street/trail bike that can be a lot of fun and hopefully keep you in your own bed instead of a hospitals, sounds good? This is the kind of bike that when used on the street is perfect for just putting around on so that you can take in the scenery instead of going fast and taking in needles, rods and screws. Sounds good, eh?! This is the bike I have in mind '''

https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/dual-sport/models/tw200

 

I know what you're thinking ... "MEH!" but try to look at it this way, life is short and we need adventures so that we have lots of good memories for when we are old. This is your big chance and to be honest, at our age there isn't a lot of time left so be bold while you still can be and grab it. You've gone really fast time and time again, you've done it til it's all but done and it's time for a change and let go the worry. You can have fun at slower speeds in the woods and you will finally be able to take in the scenery, it's hard to do @100+ in the saddle. Oh, jeez, how could I forget, you could always just buy a heavy, slow Harley and be a little safer, derp! 😝

On 2nd thought, no, don't do that. 😁

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DewMan

@faffi I understand your thoughts since I'm also past the age of invulnerability on a bike as well.

 

I'm not seeing any correlation with lower displacement and being safer in your choice of rides. Not sure where people get the notion that smaller displacement is some how magically safer than larger displacement.  If anything larger displacement bikes normally carry better suspension and brakes which "should" mean a safer ride as long as you can maintain a modicum of throttle control.

 

But that's just my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

 

IMHO it's not the size of the bike that's your issue. I can only suggest you look to get more training on closed courses if you're unable to control your impulses. It's probably the best thing you can do to improve your longevity.  And it'll probably be fun as hell too.

 

Best of Luck to you for a long and healthy life. ✌️

 

 

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Grip it & Rip it

Get an NSR 250 😎

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gregjet

A good 21 or 23 NSR 250RR will make the MT07 feel like a truck ( SP1 anyone). Requires so much attention you can't get bored.

 

But yeah the inattention thing is the biggie. I have found when I ride the mountain bike and say " I'll just go for a potter around", I tend to let my mind wander and are MUCH more likely to crash than when I am racing or training solid. With a couple of exception ALL of my big mtb crashes have been on "just riding around" days. Less damaging than a motorcycle crash ( mostly) so you get to learn from your mistakes.

 

One thing that supports your idea though, is that small bikes take MUCH more bike/ rider mental contact to get them around. You can't just twist and go. It's why I love racing tiny bikes. You whole everything has to go into the ride.

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faffi

I know I will sound like a silly brat writing all of this, but tack days are not for me, they are about as boring as it gets. Have only tried it once with a bike and a few times driving go karts, but by the fifth circulation I am done having fun. My favourite track would change constantly for eternity. There is nothing as exhilarating as riding a totally unfamiliar road and being able to read it just right so that I reach either my own limits or the limit of the bike's cornering clearance every corner. These days I do not ride like that on the road anymore, but I used to. And this is where the small vs large bike comes in; with 50 hp or less I rarely go faster than 60 mph because it is tedious the way they gain speed above that, whereas with 100 mph or more I may find myself doing 120 around sweepers, pegs on the deck. Not clever. The MT07 is in between; I rarely ride above 75 and never above 90 because there isn't enough power for me to bother. Mostly, I sit below 60 and enjoy gnarly, winding and little used roads whenever I can. Like this

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r1limited
1 hour ago, faffi said:

they are about as boring as it gets

I have heard this one to many times.  I think you simply need to hang up your leathers and walk away.  If you are zero challanged and find things to the point of bordom on the bike even on a track?? I am going out on a limb and do not take this as a insult, I am just stating what I think and this is only one voice screaming in my head

  1. You have a very unhealthy approach to motorcyling in a whole
  2. You find more than just motorcycling boring infact I would say just about anything is boring
  3. You find no challange to a simple road a a new adventure
  4. You are bored because you ting you know everything there is about riding (See 3)
  5. LAST your so complacent in your mental state of motorcycling your dangerous

Maybe you need to just take a sabaticle for 6 months to a year.

Edited by r1limited

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norcal616

I think you need to move up north like Michigan...halfway thru winter Im getting pretty ansty to ride again and before winter hits im riding as much as possible to let me hibernate thru winter...

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faffi

I actually ride to work every day now, rain, sun or snow. It certainly does not allow for any complacency, what with the darkness and often pouring rain robbing visibility. Traffic is dense, speed is low. Then there are the days with ice or snow on the ground to add some extra spice. It is good training, and something I am actually fairly good at - many riders I talk to complain about lots of near-misses every year, apparently caused by "stupid car drivers". I hardly ever experience any situations, but perhaps it helps to consider oneself invisible and ride accordingly.

 

The good thing is that weather becomes irrelevant because I am always riding in waterproof, insulated gear 🙂

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